I said before how much I adored my big sister, Deanna. She was at the high school a whole two years before I got there. She was everything I wished I was, without even trying. She was beautiful, just the right amount of smart, popular, musical, athletic, and daring: in a word Deanna was COOL. All her friends were COOL. She even had a COOL boyfriend, who hung around with other COOL guys. I was decidedly NOT COOL. I tried to be like her by wearing the same kind of clothes and getting involved in similar activities; and sometimes I got to ride on her popularity. She was Big Red, I was Little Red: I was in the shadow of the sun.
Deanna did COOL things like play Chicken with her friend, Brenda who lived a half mile away. Brenda rode our bus, and sat with Deanna, in the back with the other cool kids. Sometimes Deanna walked to Brenda’s house, and sometimes they met half-way between. That’s when they played Chicken. They walked right on the road, side by side, even when a car came at them. In the nick of time, they crossed over to the other side of the road. The Chicken challenge happened when a car came from both directions. They had to judge how long they could stay on one side, before crossing to the other. If Deanna was Chicken, she stepped off the road and lost the game. Deanna was never Chicken, she was too COOL.
Mom had her ear to the ground, and eyes in the back of her head, so of course, she found out about Chicken, and Deanna got grounded. That meant no TV, no telephone, no going out anywhere: just to church, to school, to work and home. Man-o-man, I grounded myself, I guessed, ’cause Continue reading